Big news this week as the first ever image of a supermassive black hole was shown to the world thanks to a 29-year-old MIT graduate named Katie Bouman.
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun pic.twitter.com/AymXilKhKe
— Event Horizon 'Scope (@ehtelescope) April 10, 2019
She has a postdoctoral from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and ended up creating the algorithm that rendered the image. She had been working on the computer program since 2013. She compared taking this photo to trying to take a picture of “an orange on the moon”.
She and her team used eight telescopes (positioned in different places around the world) and merged them into one computational telescope. It took 200 scientists and her algorithm to convert the data into the image we see.
1969: Margaret Hamilton alongside the code that got us to the moon.
2019: Katie Bouman alongside the data that got us to the black hole. pic.twitter.com/ew8iWlE6ss
— Physics History (@HistoryPhys) April 11, 2019
Dr. Katie Bouman, who led the creation of an algorithm that helped capture the first ever image of a black hole, tells us what this breakthrough means for science 👩🔬 #EHTBlackHole #BlackHole pic.twitter.com/ckwqoibFKl
— Nature News & Comment (@NatureNews) April 11, 2019